For the last month, I’ve been playing with Wattpad, a site where writers can post their own work free for readers. In the last six days, since Wattpad featured my short memoir All You Need is Morbid, it’s gotten more than 3,000 reads. The book has climbed in their nonfiction ranking from #187 to #4.
This publication is an experiment. I’m curious to see if the jump in readers on Wattpad translates to sales of my books at Amazon or an increase of readers on this blog. So far there doesn’t seem to have been a big crossover, but it has been less than a week. If nothing else, all those new readers have skimmed over my name.
The 3000-reads number sounds great, but it’s deceiving, because that’s the total number of times the essays in the book have been opened. It works out to 2400 reads of my introduction, 150 reads of the first essay, and between 50 and 100 reads each of the following essays.
My takeaway from this is that my introduction isn’t doing its job to draw people in to the rest of the book. I’m going to have to revise and punch it up some.
I expected that the reading numbers would be highest at the beginning of the book and drop off for each successive essay, but that’s not the case. Instead, people are reading out of order. They seem to be pulled in by titles. The “Anatomical Venus” essay has done better than “Love for Rent,” even though I would have suspected that love hotels would be more of a draw to Wattpad’s 20-something readership than waxen medical models.
I have gotten a big increase in followers on Wattpad, which led to an increase of readers when I put up a cemetery essay yesterday. This leads me to think that Wattpad might be a good way to get the word out, when I have something new for sale — but that I can’t necessarily expect a big bump in sales.
I’m curious to hear from other people who’ve fiddled with Wattpad. Have you found it useful or frustrating?
Oh, if you’re curious, you can read All You Need is Morbid for free here: w.tt/1v768Vq.